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5/9/2014 9:26:00 AM
New football coaches to lead this fall
Rolfes takes over for Woodruff at Northwest Guilford, Roscoe returns to Northern Guilford
by Steve Huffman
contributing writer

NW/NORTHERN GUILFORD - Jared Rolfes, Northwest Guilford High School's new football coach, met with members of the school's boosters club on May 6 and assured them he's committed to the program.

"I'm here for the long haul," he said. "I'm here to win."

Rolfes, 31, was named football coach at Northwest last week. He replaces Joe Woodruff, who is leaving the school to take the head coaching job at Big Rapids High School in Big Rapids, Michigan. Woodruff is a native of Michigan.

Rolfes (the name is pronounced "Roffice," rhyming with "office") is a native of Celina, Ohio, and landed his first head coaching job at his alma mater, Celina High, when he was only 25. He held the position five years, and produced two winning teams - something Celina hadn't managed in a decade - before moving south and serving this past season as offensive coordinator at Northern Guilford.

Rolfes takes over a football program at Northwest that is by most accounts in fine shape. The Vikings won the Piedmont Triad 4-A Conference championship last season with a school-record 12 wins and advanced to the third round of the NCHSAA Class 4-AA playoffs.

When Rolfes recently met with boys interested in playing football at Northwest, he had a turnout of about 70. That didn't include incoming freshmen. The coach said he expects about 110 students to participate in the football program this fall.

Rolfes has been working with Woodruff for the past week to become acclimated to Northwest Guilford. He said his sister and brother-in-law live "just around the corner" from Northwest, and he's looking forward to his tenure at the school.

"When everyone comes together and agrees it's a good fit, it makes things so much easier," Rolfes said.

Rolfes and his wife Betsy have a son, Braxton, 2, and a daughter, Brynnley, who is about to turn 1.

Northwest's new head coach said he plans to run a wide-open, spread of-fense, much as he did at Northern. He noted that in one game he coached at Celina, he had a quarterback who threw the ball 66 times.

Though he isn't anticipating a similar aerial attack at Northwest, he wants to keep things interesting.

"A lot depends on the talent you've got," he said. "You work with what you're given."

Woodruff coached seven seasons at Northwest and leaves with a record of 51-33. He captured two conference Coach of the Year awards, and his teams won three conference championships and made the state playoffs six of the seven years he was there.

Before Woodruff's arrival, Northwest had won only one conference championship in the school's 50-year history.

The head coach change at Northwest is one of two involving local high school football programs. At Northern Guilford, Johnny Roscoe is returning to lead the Nighthawks, a year after leaving the post to retire to his farm in South Carolina.

Roscoe is one of North Carolina's more well-known coaches. He retired from Northern following the 2012 season, leaving with three consecutive NCHSAA Class 3-AA titles and a 29-game winning streak. At the time of his retirement, Roscoe was the only head coach in Northern's history. He left with a record of 65-6. The school's football stadium is named for him.

Northern finished the past season 12-3 under Brian Thomas, a former Roscoe assistant; two of the Nighthawks' losses were by forfeits. Thomas is moving back to his native South Carolina to take the job of head football coach and athletic director at North Augusta High.

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